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Monday, January 23, 2012

Roger Waters Tour 2012 The Wall Live


On a muggy morning a week before the Australian premiere of Roger Waters Tour The Wall show at Burswood, Production Manager Chris Kansy took a small crew of media on a walk-through of what is possibly the most sophisticated live tour to be seen in for many years Roger Waters Tour.

While those invited regained a semblance of composure after walking literally straight into the Wall in situ for projections testing, Chris regaled us with a flurry of stupefying facts that can only be attributed to a show like this. Any live performance that is with the Pink Floyd brand is never half-baked. The 1000-odd pyro bursts used at the end of the opening number says quite a bit about the grandiosity of what concert goers can expect. “What most big rock shows close with, we open with and go from there” he explained simply.

“We have done over 120+ shows with this production and never tire of it” explained Chris from Roger Waters Tour.
“What you see here is a testament to Roger Waters The Wall focus and dedication. Every conceivable element of this Wall production has been scrutinised, redesigned and reapplied by him. Roger is always going over videos of performances and making notes. It’s the one thing we are constantly wary of….’Roger’s notes’” he says with a wry smile.

Chris continued with a bevy of technical specs regarding surround sound, the calibration of 15+ projectors to give the 3D mapping projections that seamless quality. “Every single brick that is placed throughout the show is mapped by the projections, which basically means this is one hell of a technical set-up!” (For the tech nerds, the 3D projections were created using Cinema 4D with Maya).

Roger Waters Tour The Wall in the dome is a couple of hundred feet in width based on the strict proviso (courtesy of Mr Waters) that it is to engage the entire width of the venue. Every city differs in its magnitude. “In Moscow, we had a wall that was probably a good 600 feet in width which was astounding to look at.”

As we ducked under and behind the wall the main 8 feet high, 3 350 feet stage that is used for the first half of the performance was revealed. The infamous circular Floyd video screen loomed into view surrounded by something like the set of Blade Runner, series of ramps, scaffolds, tunnels that appear to lead to nowhere, cables, expansive and expensive computer consoles and more hydraulics than in a Russ Meyer film. These were all being swiftly tried, tested and dusted off by a technical crew of 70+ touring personnel.

It must be said that from a technical viewpoint, the design, architectural elements and engineering incorporated into the 30th Anniversary tour of The Wall is nothing short of genius. The effort and energy invested by Waters even before the first pieces of staging were bolted together bears fruit and will be possibly be one of the most incredible stage productions you’ll ever see.

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